One of the sacred rules of the Pokémon universe is that for the most part, the awful little creatures are only capable of vocalising their own names. There have been exceptions throughout the series, I’m led to believe, but one rule is absolutely sacrosanct: the disgusting yellow rat creature known as Pikachu cannot speak English.
Yet in the new Pokémon film Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! – which was released in Japan back in July, and has just been dubbed into English – Pikachu speaks to Ash in ENGLISH. Behold this video of a screening from BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Broderick:
Hi, I am just learning that Pikachu speaks English in the new Pokemon movie and, yes, it is extremely fucking weird pic.twitter.com/k5hm5lyW7Y
— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) November 13, 2017
Absolutely the funniest thing about the above clip is not the fact that Pikachu speaks, but how abjectly horrified the audience seems to be. I’m going to isolate the audio of that clearly adult man yelling “NO!” and make it my ringtone.
Dubbed #PikaGate by the people who still watch Pokémon for some unknown reason, the response from fans has been extremely negative:
pikachu just fucking talks? he just speaks human? who/what taught him the language? what other languages does he speak? how long has he known language? what's his vocal cord structure? why has this never been addressed before? has ash kept this a secret for the past 20 years? how
— butt flap (@80smecha) November 14, 2017
If pikachu speaking English then that is 100% the beginning of the end for that franchise
— Aokiji クザン (@DukeOfZamunda) November 14, 2017
Why did I just see a video of Pikachu speaking regular ass English in the new movie? My childhood hurts.
— Suavecito. (@DamierGenesis) November 14, 2017
out of all the shit thats been going on, pikachu speaks english? thats it. i cant handle it anymore
— tired (@serenitycries) November 14, 2017
Many fans are of the opinion that Pikachu is speaking English in some kind of dream sequence, or Ash is having some kind of powerful hallucination. Which is fine – but personally I think if you can accept a world where the economy seems to be built on forcing strange magical animals to fight each other, you can probably accept that said animals also speak English. Just one man’s take.
To complicate things, the English voice actor for Pikachu took to Tumblr to confirm that the cast and crew were also absolutely baffled by this development.
I think the literal circumstances under which Pikachu is “speaking” are up to interpretation… I saw it as something in Ash’s mind. But it’s up to anyone. And it’s ok to think it’s super weird; I sat in the theater with the rest of the cast while everyone shouted “what the fUCK” and I sat there laughing at how bizarre it all is, especially hearing my squeaky little voice come out of it (personally, I did my best to mimic Ikue Otani as she is the master. This part in Japanese is adorable.)
Folks. Pikachu speaks English now. Sorry.